Kent County Council has set a 2030 target to reach net-zero carbon emissions for its own services and estate.
The government declared a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but KCC plans to accelerate its own action to reach that target 20 years earlier.
KCC Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “I am confident we can reach this accelerated target. We’ve used an innovative scenario model from Laser Energy to find the best combination of measures we need to take and our approach to Net Zero is evidence-based, data driven and adaptable.
“Our work on biodiversity, natural solutions, adaptation to climate change, to increase active travel, reduce fuel poverty and generally make Kent a better place to live are all in addition to this specific goal of reaching net-zero for KCC’s services and buildings.
“I don’t underestimate the effort we will need to make to reach this target, but the measures we want to take bring multiple benefits and I believe we’d want to do them whatever target had been set.
“There will be opportunities along the way that may allow us to make faster progress and we need to remain flexible enough to adapt our plans to take advantage of funding, partnerships, technology and innovation.”
KCC has already successfully reduced carbon emissions by 50% between 2010 and 2020.
Laser Energy, part of Commercial Services Kent, a company owned by Kent County Council, has developed a tool to assess various actions and forecast their impact to achieve Net Zero.
This includes investing in renewable energy, shifting to electric vehicles and smarter working practices.
Practically, this will mean fewer miles travelled for business, greater use of electric vehicles, improving the energy efficiency of the buildings KCC owns, creating a district heat network in Maidstone, and greater investment in solar panels.